Jonathan Meres Tour Journal

In January 2014 Jonathan Meres visited schools in Hull and Sheffield with the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour.

We visited over 1300 children in 10 different schools around Yorkshire.  The events were full of energy and humour and in each session Jonathan asked the pupils to come up with a 'really original question' - this varied from 'What inspired you to write the World of Norm' to 'What would you do if you were a banana?' Original indeed!

Here is a photo diary of the week with excerpts from Jonathan's blog...

 

Jonathan Meres Alderman Cogan's Primary
Jonathan Meres Stepney Primary

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to do what I do for a living. Not only do I get to make stuff up for a living but I also get to travel around a great deal and meet the people I make the stuff up for.  

If the next four days go half as well as this first one just has, it promises to be a really memorable week. Bright, engaged, funny, intelligent. And the kids were great too.  

Jonathan Meres Christopher Pickering Primary
Jonathan Meres Endike Academy
"He was very funny - when I looked around everyone was laughing! He is the best at 'The World of Norm.'" Damien, Aged 12, St Mary's College

There was a frankly astonishing looking brand new primary we visited - called Endike Academy. Not only was the building itself amazing, but the staff were great and the children just gorgeous. Hardly surprising given their surroundings and the environment they get to spend five days a week in.  Not exactly rocket science, is it?

Jonathan Meres Video
Jonathan Meres Sirius Academy

I’m recording a little video by the balmy waters of the Humber Bridge in which I will hopefully reveal my ‘Top 3 Tips’ for parents and teachers to help encourage reluctant readers to pick up a book and…well, become less reluctant I guess. Quite what’s going to come out of my mouth when the camera starts rolling is anybody’s guess frankly.

Many school librarians have told me that Norm is popular even in years above S1/Y2 – usually with boys – and usually those boys who might be termed as ‘reluctant readers,’ or at least boys who wouldn’t normally be seen dead with a book in their hands. 

Jonathan Meres Coit Primary
Jonathan Meres St Mary's College
"It was good for the children to meet an author who was accessible to them, made them laugh and was very down to earth. It got rid of any stereotypes that reading 'big books' would be boring." Mrs Phelps-Jones, Stepney Primary School "I thought it was hilarious. I especially liked the questions. You have inspired me to read more!" Abigail, aged 9, Alderman Cogan's CE Primary
Jonathan Meres Alderman Cogan's Primary
Jonathan Meres Endike Academy

Never mind me educating Yorkshire. If anything it’s been the other way round.  It’s been an absolute joy from start to finish. The responses and reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, enthusiastic and in some cases, darn nearly riotous.  

Halfway through one session this week, the head teacher came into the hall and stood watching and listening. Not so much to me – as the 200 or so kids sat on the floor, enjoying themselves. She only stayed for a couple of minutes, but on the way out she was heard to say to one of her staff, “I want a complete set of books for every class.”  Thank you Hull and Sheffield. My work here is done.

 

To read Jonathan's Tour blog, visit the Scottish Friendly Community site: scottishfriendly.co.uk/community/blog

Jonathan Meres

Jonathan Meres is an author, actor, former stand up comedian and astronaut (if his website bio is to be believed). Jonathan visited Hull and Sheffield with the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour in January 2014.  For more information please visit his website: www.jonathanmeres.com